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staffers with majority leader reid and minority leader mcconnell are trying to conjure up some last-minute deal and this plan would not be the grand bargain that john boehner started initially working on. that plan would have dealt with tax reform and deficit reduction and this will be a much more scaled back version that will deal with the issue of taxes and that is still the big sticking point, taxes. of course, democrats and president obama have called for tax rates to increase on those making $250,000 or less. republicans have said that's way too low. so they're thinking about potentially compromising on a rate that would be $400,000 or $500,000, but some republicans are saying they don't think that the tax rate should go up on anyone. so taxes still the major sticking point. right now the negotiations are going on the hill and there's a lot of optimism that came from the talks yesterday. of course, president obama hosted congressional leaders at the white house and they left that meeting and many said that it was constructive and they were optimistic that a deal could get done
yet to bear fruit and right now we do have the focus on the senate. majority leader reid and mitch mcconnell trying to hammer out a deal that would, to some extent extend the bush-era tax cuts for those making $250,000 although we might see that number go up to 400,000, 500,000 if there is some type of a deal. the president has called on a deal to extend unemployment insurance benefits so that is another aspect that they're negotiating, but clearly, these negotiations are difficult. they have been from day one and that is why we are seeing them go to the 11th hour, but again, as of right now one democratic source expressing skepticism about getting something done by the all-important deadline. craig? >> the president, of course, appearing on "meet the press" tomorrow. is there a sense that the white house needs to stay out in front of this to convince americans that he's doing his part to reach a settlement before zero hour? >> think that is part of it and we've seen president obama take this tactic before. during the payroll tax cut fight, you'll remember he ran out and talked to people in
, staff from harry reed and mitch mcconnell have been negotiating through the daout the day and in picked up. we have heard that both sides are not budgeting. but we don't know, things can change at any moment. if we have to gauge how to talks have gone so far from the conversations we have had here around capitol hill, they have not been too good at the moment. all that being said though, craig, there's a lot that can happen over the next 48 hours. the deal obviously is to try to have something on the floor that can pass the house of representatives by new year's eve. that is why it's so difficult, craig. you have mitch mcconnell and harry reed trying to get something passed. so there's a lot of moving parts. this is not a really easy road ever. so far, things are not overly optimistic, there was a touch of optimism yesterday and this morning but it went away this afternoon. >> what happened? >> who knows. >> what happened between yesterday afternoon and evening when everyone sounded like this thing may happen and now? >> what happens is they go in a room and start going back forth with
departure, the president called all four congressional leaders, reid, mcconnell, boehner and pelosi. now fiery words after reid hit boehner with volley after volley from the senate floor earlier today. >> if we go over the cliff and it looks like that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representatives as we speak with four days after today aren't here with the speaker having told them they'll have 48-hours notice. i can't imagine their conscie e consciences. >> speaker boehner's office responding with a terse statement saying in part, quote, senator reid should talk less and legislate more. the house already passed legislation to avoid the entire fiscal cliff. senate democrats have not. joining me now from d.c. nbc news white house correspondent peter alexander. peter, there was word the last hour that the president may have sent some sort of deal. the white house then turning around saying that's not true at all. where was the confusion? >> reporter: well, you hear the frosty statements back and forth as you just indicated there, craig. ah, the holidays in washington. a
majority leader mitch mcconnell said there is still time to work out a deal. however, there is no firm evidence of any real plan. here is what we do know tonight. president obama cutting his vacation short arriving back in washington today. house lawmakers announcing late today they are now planning to return on sunday. but listen to the rhetoric. and you have to question whether that will do any good because near early everything that is coming out of d.c. is about blame. not answers. >> speaker boehner should call members of the house back to washington today. he shouldn't have let them go in fact. they are not here. they are not here. john boehner seems to care more about keeping his speakership than about keeping the nation on firm financial footing. >> harris: a spokesman for john boehner fired back "senator reid should talk less and legislate more." and senate minority leader mcconnell saying we should have worked all this out months ago. >> and republicans aren't about to write a blank check or anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of t
removed himself from these discussions. harry reid, president obama, and a little bit of mitch mcconnell. what is possible of making a deal? >> the ball seems to be in mitch mcconnell's court. does he filibuster anything that harry reid ends up making with president obama? we have a paired down legislation extending for income below $250,000 and doing something with unemployment insurance that you were talking about? the question is a senate filibuster, democrats need 60 votes and republican votes, mcconnell ends up filibustering and will there be senators who support the legislation and blocking the filibuster. a lot of gymsmanship and republicans when you lock at the situation in the house and the inability to pass along the other things, they are on the verge of taking a lot of blame if they filibuster the legislation and the house doesn't act on it. >> and only democratic support developing here. how much is he going to agree with the president when he has the election in 2014? some folks don't want to appear in any way too close to president obama right now. >> let's move on in term
that kind of signal? i do not think so. that is what a lot of us watch mitch mcconnell very closely. there are people in his caucus who early to vote for what i just said. can they get it on the floor and overcome the procedural hurdles? host: if nothing happens, what are we looking at? guest: january 3 at noon. there are so many scenarios. if the new congress convenes on the third, negotiations continue. democrats would have more strength. they have gained 7 or eight seats. i think the key if they go over the cliff will be the financial markets. if the market go into a panic and if the dow tumbles into free-fall wednesday, thursday, friday, i think we'll see something quickly. host: david lightman, thank you for checking in. we will check in with things stand with the fiscal cliff. you can join us honor twitter account at twitter.com/cspanwj. it is down to the wire. robert on the democrats line. caller: i blame the republicans . i do not think they are being honest. they think the american people are stupid. the american people are not stupid. the american people are not going to f
more. mike, you just got new details 23r* mitch mcconnell. what are they? >> that's right. discussions have been taking place all day. both sides have been trading paper, ideas and that talks continue. we understand legislative staff will continue working into this evening. meanwhile, huer is a fair and balanced look at where things stand. >> i do think that something will happen over the next few days relative to the revenue piece. hopefully we can rescue most americans from a tax increase. but what we haven't dealt with again is the spending component. jay we just can't afford -- >> we just can't afford a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. keeping it that way means folks you sent to washington have to do their jobs. the housing market is healing, but that could stall as folks are seeing smaller paychecks. >> with time running out, it sounds like conservatives may have to fight spending when raising the debt ceiling is the new fight in the new year. harris? >> mike, democrats say they know they need republican help to get this through. they are counting on a top republic
a bill unless mitch mcconnell allows it to come for a vote for a simple majority. they are seeking assurances that he won't try to block it. for his part he said it's up to the president to lead. unclear if anything is going to happen today. it's becoming more and more likely we will hit january 1st without a resolution. >> peter, obviously the president gets back a little bit from now. what are we hearing about their strategy? we have that very effective bully pulpit? >> it's a good question. the president is supposed to arrive a couple hours from now. 72 degrees for honolulu. better hope he brings sunshine back with him. the real challenge is when he gets here, there is barely 100 hours before the headline hits. he said a short time ago describing their strategy and it remains not too dissimilar. it's not whether we can get a deal done or not. whether mcconnell will filibuster such a deal and will boehner allow a vote. the strategy he indicated moments ago. that doesn't look like good news with the frosty exchange of statements between house speaker boehner yesterday and majority
mitch mcconnell, house speaker john boehner and house democratic leader nancy pelosi met at the white house yesterday afternoon with the president and vice president. here's where things stand right now. the senate leaders are meeting aiming to avoid tax hikes. and they may vote on a deal sunday or perhaps on monday. jessica yellin is our chief white house correspondent. lisa day jar dayne is on capitol hill. the president used his bully pulpit to reinforce the idea that senators need to get busy. so let's listen. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable, why everything always has to wait till the last minute. we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. not right now. >> so jessica, you were in the room for the president's remarks. on a scale of 1 to 10, let's measure the anger perhaps that
, was senator mitch mcconnell and here we have the majority leader in the senate, harry reid. let's listen in for a second. >> the house has reported by the press and we all know, one of the plans didn't have a name, it wasn't plan b. i don't know which plan it was because they've had a number over there. but this plan was to show the american people that the $250,000 ceiling on raising taxes wouldn't pass in the house. why didn't they have that vote? because it would have passed. they wanted to kill it. the speaker wanted to show everybody that it wouldn't pass the house. but he couldn't bring it up for vote because it wouldn't pass. republicans -- a myriad of republicans think it's the fair thing to do and of course every democrat would vote for that. the republican leader finds himself frustrated that the president has called on him to help address the fiscal cliff. he's upset because, quote, the phone never rang. he complains that i have not passed the resolution to pass the fiscal cliff but he's in error. we all know that in july of this year we passed in the senate the relief that wo
mcconnell, who will join his colleagues later today at the white house. [video clip] >> i told the president last night we would be happy to look at whatever he proposes. the truth is we are coming up against a hard deadline. as i said, this is a conversation we should have had months ago. republicans are not about to write a blank check or anything senate democrats before or just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. that would not be fair to the american people. that said, we will see what the president has to propose. members on both sides will review it. then we will decide how best to proceed. hopefully, there's still time for an agreement of some kind that saves the taxpayers from a preventable economic crisis. host: damian paletta. guest: senator mcconnell is a pro at this kind of negotiation. he's going into this white house meeting saying, give us your proposal, let us see what you want to do, we will be willing to look at whatever you present. the potential problem is what the white house will present is something they are presented before that senator mcconnell has s
senator mcconnell decides whether to filibuster the measure and whether the other republicans in the party will filibuster, they have to see the details in the proposal. will there be an estate tax provision? how will unemployment which is expected to be extended? will it be paid for? what spending measures will be in this and spending cuts, etc. there will be more details spelled out and where will that come from? will it come from a phone call and staff here at the white house and spelled out by the staff of the senate majority leader harry reid. all that was is yet to be determined. perhaps senator connell's office believes it will come from different sources and there is a lot of potential for confusion with such little time left and so much pressure on the line. dana might have more information. >> a lot of -- if this happens that happens. you are right. hey, dana,y want to go to you. across the wire the house may be coming back into session on sunday, but do we know, is there movement towards getting there? is that confirmed? >> yes, we have it confirmed. i apologize. there is a conf
to negotiate. we have not heard a word from leader mcconnell. nothing is happening. >> reporter: mitch mcconnell, the top republican in the senate, said it's reid who hasn't reached out for weeks. >> the phone never rang. and so now here we are, five days from the new year, and we might finally start talking. >> reporter: but talking about what? so far, reid has not introduced the scaled-down bill he was reportedly working on over the christmas holiday. sources say that bill would extend the bush-era tax cuts for americans making less than $250,000 a year. with the clock ticking, reid pointed a finger at the house of representatives, which still hasn't returned to washington. >> i can't imagine their consciences. they're out wherever they are around the country, and we're here trying to get something done. >> reporter: from his home in ohio, speaker boehner called on the house to come back this sunday, december 30. that's just one day before the fiscal cliff deadline when income tax cuts and payroll tax cuts are set to expire, $110 billion worth of spending cuts kick in, and two million jobless
afternoon and senate republican leader mitch mcconnell responded. take a listen. >> speaker boehner should call members of the house back to washington today. he shouldn't have let them two in fact. they're not here. they're not here. john boehner seeps to care more about keeping his speakership than about keeping the nation on firm financial footing. >> reporter: there have been all eyes on senator mitch mcconnell, the republican leader, the counterpart to harry reid because he has been pretty quiet early on in the negotiations. was defering speaker boehner to give the republican side. after hearing senator reid yesterday, senator mcconnell fired back. take a listen. >> we're coming up against a hard deadline here and i said, this is a conversation we should had months ago. and republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> reporter: now senator mcconnell also said he was disappointed because when he got a call from the president two nights ago right before the president left hawaii to c
and harry reid. republicans mitch mcconnell and john boehner. those four members of congress are expected to make the drive from the capital, which you see on the right, down pennsylvania avenue, to the white house, there on the left. and we expect them to enter through a side door on the west side of the mansion. that's the entrance right there. and they'll meet with the president. in the oval office. beginning, we're told, at 3:00 p.m., less than one hour from now. and just four days ahead of the so-called fiscal cliff. so a very big moment in the nation's capital. and to walk us through what might happen we turn to jessica yellin, a chief white house correspondent. jessica, we said up front, it is a long shot, give us a best case scenario. >> reporter: the best case scenario would be that all the leaders walk out of this meeting and say they have a deal. the two senators say they can bring it to a vote, and none of their members will filibuster it. house speaker john boehner says he will bring it to the house floor for a vote before new year's eve and house minority leader nancy pelosi
listen to senate republican leader mitch mcconnell he basically said yesterday when he got a phone call from the president two nights ago it was the first time he heard from a democrat about the fiscal cliff negotiations, whether the president, senator reid or others in about a month, around thanksgiving. with the democrats not reaching out to senator mcconnell for a month, doesn't seem like they have been pushing very hard for a deal, gregg. gregg: has the bickering between reid and boehner sort of poisoned the negotiations past the point that, you know, maybe this meeting will help at all? >> reporter: it may have because it's really, we've seen tensions escalate ever since before christmas when john boehner was not able to get a deal through the house where he has a very strong republican majority. he had a rebellion amongst some of his fellow conservatives. that is what held it up. senator harry reid as you say was very rough going directly after boehner yesterday. take a listen. >> the american people i don't think understand the house of representatives is operating without the ho
is that the president basically told john boehner and mitch mcconnell the republican leaders in the room here for this meeting that he wants an up or down vote on his scaled back bill to try to avoid this fiscal cliff. and he basically turned on them and said so what's your response? what's your move? the next move is yours. and then i'm told that mitch mcconnell and harry reid, the democratic leader in the senate jumped in before john boehner really got a chance to fully respond and say, look, we will take the ball and try to pass a bipartisan bill in the senate. the president responded by saying i will give you a day or two but we're running out of time. if you don't get it done in the senate. i want an up or down vote. then he came out and addressed reporters in the briefing room it is clear that the president is only cautiously optimistic that this is going to take a look. take a listen. >> it if there are disagreements they sort through the disagreements. the notion that our elected leadership can't do the same thing is mind boggling to them. it needs to stop. i'm moderately optimistic t
. the leadership has gone mum on that. we know there's not been communication between boehner and mcconnell, obama and boehner. are you amazed with this short amount of time to go there seems to be no sense of urgency on either side? >> am i amazed, given what we went through with the debt ceiling, no, i'm not amazed. i think there are forces here in this town that would like for us, sure people would like for there to be a deal, but going over the cliff on january 1st when there's this notion where it's not really a cliff, it's a slope, it's a curb depending who you talk to, that you can repair the damage if you get a deal done, you know, a few days after january 3rd. i think people feel like they can slow walk. as we saw last week when plan b failed, you know, speaker boehner said it's up to the white house and the democrats to come up with a deal. >> washing my hands with it. what's interesting is what you just touched on, conventional wisdom has grown now to it's a cliff, it's a cliff, we can't go off it, to we're okay for two to three weeks afterwards, the treasury can stay in place. do you t
then what we've been hearing from republicans, particularly mitch mcconnell's office is we can't talk about whether we can pass anything until we actually see the legislation. so our understanding from these sources who are familiar with the call and familiar with the process is that the president will put the plan in legislate lative language. what is the plan? the president's tax plan he campaigned on for five years which is to let the tax plan expire for households making less than $250,000. he would add unemployment insurance. the thinking here is he would potentially also add extending the estate tax cut. the estate tax has been at a relatively low level. it expires also at the ipd of the year. but, you know, this is all you know, to'ing and fro'ing right now to see if it's possible to pass anything to keep most americans' taxes where they are before the end of the year when everybody's tax go up. >> we heard from senator reid earlier today. they were dealing, in his words, with a dictatorship. are we expected to hear from him or any of the players from the hill in terms of trying to m
of six attending. vice president biden, harry reid, house minority leader nancy pelosi, mitch mcconnell and john boehner representing the republicans. brianna keilar is live from washington. is anybody optimistic that a deal could be done today around a table? >> i will tell you the optimism is sort of sinking. senate majority leader harry reid said he doesn't see how it can get done by january 1st. we heard from president obama before he left from his vacation that he was optimistic. logistically the white house will tell you it's possible. when you listen to what you're hearing some of these congressional leaders say, there's a lot of posturing laying blame to the other side if we do go over the cliff. take a listen. >> republicans are not about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> we are here in washington working while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies, watching their kids play soccer, basketball, doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> now, house speaker j
upset with this congress. >> president obama has invited nancy pelosi, john boehner, mitch mcconnell, and harry reid to the white house this afternoon for a fiscal cliff summit. >> here we are five days from the new year, and we might finally start talking. >> today's white house meeting might be the last chance to come to an agreement. that's because it takes time for a bill to work its way through both chamber of commerce. >> i don't know time wise how it can happen now. >> under senate rules, the only way a bill could make its way through the procedural hurdles in time is if every senator agrees not to. they'll have 24 hours. outside the beltway, carlino will be watching. >> everyone is kind of in a wait-and-see and fingers-crossed per expect tichb right now. >> since 1930 this is only the fifth time congress has worked after christmas. and today's summit is the first time president obama has met face to face with congressional leaders since mid-november. duarte, tick tock. >> thank you. >>> general schwarzkopf is being remembered this morning as a great hero and tactician. as ter
, four days to go, you heard from senate minority leader, and mitch mcconnell says we're heading over the fiscal cliff. the panic is just setting in. this is your world. taxpayers are starting to freak out because a half trillion dollars plus tax hit is about to kick in as a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff is no where are in sight and time is running out. we hit the streets to show people this. this graphic shows how big a tax hit you could expect depending on your income no matter where in the country you live. for folks who could soon be forced to pay higher taxes, reality setting in. >> january 1st, that's what your taxes would go up. >> wow. >> wow. >> wow is not wow. >> well, it's going to be somewhere between 8,000 to $12,000, which i don't have. so i'm not looking forward to that. >> we're living paycheck by paycheck. i have five kids and that's going to put us way down in the hole. >> i'm a single income, you've got to be kidding. >> that's a lot of money. >> we need to keep our money in our pockets to help our country first. >> that sucks. i have a lot more better things to do
they think needs to be done is to get senate leader mcconnell to agree not to filibuster any action in the senate and then get speaker boehner to agree to put a bill forward on the house floor for a vote. if those two pieces happen, then they feel like there could be something done before new year's. so it's sort of con joeling mitch mcconnell to agree to those actions on those parts. if the president can get that done, we don't have much time left for the rest of the pieces to fall into place. >> jessica, i'm sure you saw harry reid on the floor there today really going after speaker boehner, which is just more and more of the blame game. can anything get done when all they are doing is fighting and blaming each other? >> for the longest time, we thought this is a lot for the last few weeks of public posturing. behind the scenes, they must have a secret deal worked out, but in the end they will come out with a deal to get this done before new year's. but it hasn't turned out that way, has it? so it's not surprising there's an enormous amount of partisanship given each side wants to
we know whether president obama spent any time on the phone with mitch mcconnell or john boehner or the republican leaders? that's a good question and has not happened during this holiday vacation. talks between the main players here are largely stalled. there have been conversations at the staff level, but only between democrats at the white house and on the hill. talks between the two parties have largely stalled here. they are going to need to come back and try to find a compromise to avert this potential economic disaster. some analysts are saying that the pressure will be enough to force all sides to come to the table to get that done. that is of course a big question mark that is looming over the next several days. public pressure by the way mounting not only in the polls, you have the coffee chain starbucks waging their own champagne. they have started writing come on the coffee cups assigned to lawmakers to get something done by january 1st. >> we will have more on that later. kristen well k standing in front of a postcard. national political report for real clear politic
suffered just as much as these people do. the other thing -- we have senators, like mitch mcconnell, and he, his wife, and his in- laws benefit from his position because they are part of a chinese shipping magnate. his wife was secretary of trade under the bush administration. they are using their position to help china, and china is the biggest abortion country in the world. when you throw all this into a big mixture, you cannot blame the gun. host: thank you for the call and comment. a bitter fight had on gun control, according to the washington post. we are following some of the options on what is next. speaker boehner is confronting a political cliff over the budget track is, putting out that the speaker's leadership and legacy remained at stake. they point out that in a show of support, house leader eric cantor. at a news conference with the speaker in a call to extend the tax rates. some have urged congressman tom price of georgia to challenge john deere for the job. much more on what is next for the fiscal cliff. one week before we reach that point. the deadline is december 31, janua
tomorrow afternoon. host: both majority leader harry reid and mitch mcconnell both expressed optimism after the meeting with the president. what is the basis of their optimism? is this a sign we might be one step, two steps, through step closer to a deal? caller: it does appear we are a step closer to a deal. they are talking about doing is extraordinarily popular stuff. except for the big marquee item, which is letting taxes rise on the wealthy. the rest of the stuff they are looking at doing the stuff they do all the time. it is extending an expiring tax policies. they know the benefit businesses. extent college tuition credits. there are looking at protecting people from the alternative minimum tax. it is all very urgent stuff that needs to be done. there are only two remotely controversial pieces of this, that is what to do with the estate tax and to how to define the wealthy people whose taxes are going to go up. the rest of it is, basically protecting people from tax hikes. i guess extending unemployment benefits and sometimes controversial for the republicans. it appears to have agre
are on the senate this morning as majority leader harry reid and minority leader mcconnell true to cobble together a last-minute plan to avoid the fiscal cliff. president obama saying he is modestly optimistic that they can come up with a plan in time. on friday, president obama met with the four top congressional leaders here at the white house for about an hour. sources close to those talks say that the president gave lawmakers two options, either come up with a plan that can make it through both chambers or put his proposal up for a vote. under the president's plan, the bush-era tax cuts would be extended for those making $250,000 or less with rates allowed to raise on top income earners. it would also extend unemployment insurance benefits. president obama saying the time for action is now. >> the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound. ordinary folks, they do their jobs. they meet deadlines. they sit down, and they discuss things and then things happen. if there are disagreements, they sort through the disagreements. the notion that our elect
? there is a lot of buzz on capitol hill. mitch mcconnell, who will be attending a white house meeting told us a few moments ago that we are always the running out of time. chairman max baucus, the democrat says that he thinks this will fiscal cliff matter comes down as one white house meeting two hours from now. another top senate republican said a short time ago that he was calling on president obama to lead. >> the president is not a senator anymore. he's a president. just as president reagan worked to deal with tip o'neill and bill clinton and president eisenhower, we need leadership on not just taxing rich people, but we contact them and it wouldn't help the medicare fiscal cliff. greg: others are skeptical, noting that high-profile meetings are for show often times and all about tactics. we expect the president will try a stopgap measure extending middle-class tax rates, extending unemployment benefits for some 2 million americans, do some small spending cuts now, but not entitlement reform. an ally of the white house and the house of representatives offered this. >> this is not for show
mcconnell needs to be a player because john boehner has kept tized him to do this, he's up for re-election in 2014. he has to consider that prospect as well. >> depply doug. >>> coming up, kurt andersen will be here. also, "new york times" columnist frank bruni and nbc white house correspondent, chuck todd. also, the lives they live. this sunday's "new york times" magazine profiles the memorable people and in some cases places that we lost in 2012. john kelly joins us for a look back at those who passed. >>> up next, mike allen with the "politico playbook." first is dylan drier tracking the winter storm. >> this storm is a big one. it affected the whole eastern third of the country for several days right through that all-important holiday for travelers. that certainly did wreak havoc on the airports. we ended up with more than a foot of snow in some areas, especially back into ohio, pennsylvania and new york state. granby, connecticut, picked up six inches before it changed over to rain. we saw winds gusting up near hurricane-force strength in brick, new jersey. 74-mile-per-hour w
entrance. those are the suvs that likely boehner, mcconnell, pelosi and reid will come out of. let's talk about the deal. what if there's a deal, craig, for, i don't know, say 4 hr $500,000 the threshold of who gets taxes and who keeps -- everybody under that number keeps their tax cuts. everyone over pays more and there's spending cuts. is that a bad deal? >> yeah. i think it is. let me tell you why. because you can't get everything out of this deal that you want and frankly, all we're doing is kicking the can down the road. you know as well as i do this does nothing to deal with the $1 trillion plus deficits we have yearly. this is the fifth year in a row, we're going to have $20 trillion worth of debt on top of $48 trillion worth a long-term liabilities by the time mr. obama leaves office. this is the time to deal with this issue. we've been kicking it down the road ten years. we promised the nation in 2011 under the budget deal with the sequesters we would not let this get away from us. we shouldn't this time. for mr. obama to suggest i've cut a trillion in spending because he saved m
pelosi, john boehner, mitch mcconnell and harry reid to the white house this afternoon for a "fiscal cliff" summit. >> here we are five days from the new year, and we might finally start talking. >> reporter: today's white house meeting might be the last chance to come to an agreement. that's because it takes time for a bill to work its way through both chambers of congress. >> i don't know time-wise how it can happen now. >> reporter: under senate rules the only way a bill could make its way through the procedure hurdles in time is if every senator agrees not to slow the progress. the house will be back here sunday night giving them just more than 24 hours to vote on any bill the senate works out. outside the beltway, carlino will be watching. >> everybody's kind of in a wait-and-see and fingers crossed perspective right now. >> reporter: since 1930, this is only the fifth time congress has worked after christmas. tara mergener for cbs news, washington. >>> today's meeting will be the first time president obama and all four leaders of the house and senate have met in person since no
pelosi, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell and house speaker john boehner. they have only four days to reach an agreement or the u.s. economy will go off the so- called "fiscal cliff." that's when automatic spending increases and cuts would take effect. reaching a deal won't be easy because both sides are involved in a high stakes political blame game. >> we are here in washington working while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies and watching the kids play soccer and basketball and doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> i told the president we would be happy to look at wah he proposes but the truth is we are coming up against a hard deadline and as i said this is a conversation we should have had months ago. >> reporter: democrats want to extend the bush-era tax cuts to everyone except those americans making $250,000 or more a year. many republicans are against any tax increases. most americans just want something to be done. >> people are just tired of partisanship and they want everyone to come together. >> reporter: if lawmakers don't r
mitch mcconnell? guest: the line that comes from the speakers office all the time is the line of communication remain open. i don't know how much talking they did as the president was in hawaii spending time with his family and the speaker was back home in ohio, i believe. i don't know that for sure. everyone was doing their family time and not really working that significantly on something. i think there was probably some minimal conversation, but not a lot. as for the senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, i think that is a good one. a lot has been made in the past few days about him taking a higher profile role in these negotiations. while i don't like prognosticating into the future, we can look at the past in some of the previous negotiations of congress and the kind of role he has played. almost all of these talks, whether it was about government shutdown in the spring of 2011 or the debt limit debate in the summer of 2011 or the payroll tax-cut debate last year, those negotiations started at a level between the president and speaker but always broke down at that level
majority leader harry reid, house minority leader nancy pelosi, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, and house speaker john boehner. have four dates to reach an agreement, but the u.s. economy would go off a fiscal cliff. that's when automatic spending increases and spending cuts would take effect. -- a deal will not be easy, because both sides are involved in a high-stakes political blame game. >> we are here in washington working while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies and watching the kids play soccer and basketball and doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> i told the president we would be happy to look at whatever he proposes. the truth is we are coming up against a hard deadline. this is a conversation we should have had months ago. clerk democrats want to extend bush-era tax cuts to everyone except those americans making to a hundred $50,000 or more per year. many republicans are against any tax increases. -- democrats want to extend bush-era tax cuts to everyone except those americans making $250,000 per year. >> d.c. mayor vinc
at this point is not in discussion with not only speaker john boehner but the senate minority leader, mitch mcconnell and perhaps because of that, you have some of that pessimism of senator liberman being shared by republicans. >> when i listen to the president, i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes and sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. gets additional tax revenue, gets to cut the military which democrats have been calling for for years and blame republicans for it. >> now, all eyes are now on the senate, which will reconvene on thursday. seen as likely that president obama will head back to washington from hawaii here. senate minority leader harry reid has the task of trying to conjure up something that might be able to pass the house in addition to the senate publicly. the white house is saying they want tax rates to remain in effect for those making up to $250,000 per year, but it's unclear if that's something. very unclear, very unquestioned that house republicans could swallow that. we're hearing aing you significant possibility we go over
and nancy pelosi leading republicans mitch mcconnell and john boehner. no deal can be reached in past without their cooperation. with the meeting comes a glimmer of hope. in the past all the ifisical cliff talks meetings like this have been the least productive of all. whether he meant to or not the senate majority leader may have spoken for a nation exhausted by seemingly endless fiscal cliff negotiations. >> what's going on here? >> reporter: what indeed. president obama returned to the white house in a grim mood. he met with no congressional leaders and said nothing about his efforts to avert the fiscal cliff, talks continue between senior white house and congressional staff, but that's been true throughout this entire saga. with the deadline looming there were dire predictions. >> come the first of this year americans will have less income than they have today. >> reporter: and recriminations. >> now republicans have bent over backwards. we stepped way, way out of our comfort zone. we wanted an agreement. but we had no takers. >> reporter: the senate's top dem
. there are two good signs for optimism today. one is that leader mcconnell is actively engaged. you can't pass anything in the senate without democratic and republican votes because of the 60-vote barrier. we only have 53. for the first time, leader mcconnell is speaking to the president. if the senate is going to be the place where action starts, you need both of them there. the second reason for optimism is boehner is back at the table. because you can't pass something just through the senate. we see what a mess the house is. they couldn't even pass speaker boehner's own plan b. the fact that he's come back and the four of them are at the table means to me we could come up with some kind of agreement that would avoid the main parts of the fiscal cliff, particularly taxes going up on middle class people. now, i am hopeful, and it can be a balanced package. we've always said it should be a balanced package. the problem has not been democrats being willing to do cuts. we did $1 trillion of them last year. we're willing to do more this year. the problem is revenues. >> senator thune, if we go ov
income taxes but we do not, and that parity has been so important. leader mitch mcconnell has guided our party and our conference through the past six years, he is a gifted leader and one that i have witnessed time and again has come up with strategies and got nothing is done in the right way. senator john kyl and i have worked on immigration and debt tax relief. senator lamar alexander and i have championed the america competes act so that we would continue the priority of scientific research and that we would never fail to invest in our future because of our economy. i am very pleased the distinguished ranking member of the judiciary committee and the finance committee, and judiciary before. has also on the floor. it has been a wonderful friend to me helping me in this first election when he was the rock star on fund raisers in texas and i thank senator orrin hatch for his strong leadership in this body. and i have had a wonderful good fortune to serve with two colleagues from my home state. first senator phil gramm who was a wonderful mentor and colleague. they broke for mold after se
this morning the. that is what the weather was like as mitch mcconnell came to work in trying to reach a deal. if you cannot forge a deal with democrats, here is what is at stake. let's look first of all at what is involved in talks. at the top of the list, tax rates, if we go over the fiscal cliff, tax rates will go up 9-33% for most all americans. now, that would also mean havoc for payroll companies and the irs that have to struggle how to handle withholding starting on january 1st and unemployment benefits. those ran out today. so that is something that republicans and democrats we understand are talking about right now. so, what else is at stake in the fiscal cliff? let's look at the other issues, things that we are not sure will be in a deal that comes out this week. at the top of the list, government spending cuts that is 8-10% in cuts to every federal agency. and a pay cut for medicare doctors of 27% that would hit after january 1st and finally, don, there's a slew of other tax hikes. the minimum tax and the estate tax. that is everything that would hit average americans. the fiscal c
senator mcconnell that the november election -- that isn't true. the president was out there clearly saying there should be a continuation of the middle-class tax cuts, but not for the upper 2%, adding unemployment insurance. so essentially there's a stymie, a blockade by republicans who really don't want anything to happen that relates to tax rates. >> sir, you said you're disappointed. the huffington post is out where this new piece on product activity. we always hear the phrase the do-nothing congress, referring back to the 1940s, but side by side, 219 bills have been signed during this latest legislative body, and the 104th had 333 bills signed, so they are the do-nothing congress getting a bad rap comparatively. are the american people just supposed to sit by and expect this? because that's the way it is, the american people's hands are hogtied to whatever you guys want to do and whether you can get your act together. >> i don't think the american people should be silent. for example, on unemployment insurance, we've talked to people who will lose their benefits. it's bad for th
on the democratic side. house speaker john boehner, mitch mcconnell representing the republicans. brianna keilar live from washington. what do we expect to happen today? any new offers from the president or house speaker? >> we don't know. right now, all eyes on the senate to see what senate majority leader harry reid can cobble together to get some republican support. technically, it's still possible to come to an agreement. that said, politically is a different story, and the prospects for coming to a deal are starting to dim. right now, we're hearing a whole lot of the blame game. a lot of public posturing from both sides as they prepare for the possibility of going over the cliff. let's listen to harry reid. >> we are here in washington working while members of the house of representatives are out watching movies and watching their kids play soccer and basketball and doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> now, the speaker of the house, john boehner, sort of retorting to reid, ali. in a conference call he said the leaders should do more -- or pardon me. less talking and more legis
, steny could have come up with a better met it at that for than that. that was senator reid and mcconnell and congressman hoyer in washington. brian sullivan is here and refuse rend al sharpton and richard wolf on assignment and joining us on set is rana and in washington eugene robinson. gene, thanks for getting dragged out of bed this morning. what was your initial reaction watching that clip of those three guys talking about this thing? >> you know, where are we? my initial feeling was this isn't going anywhere, and we have to go over the cliff and then they'll fix it. that's amy initial reaction. it doesn't sound like there's anything productive happening, if that's what everybody is still saying about the state of the negotiations. there don't seem to be any real negotiations. >> i have to say, i ought thought this is exactly where we'd be right now. in the beginning i couldn't believe it. >> why did you think that? >> because she's smarter than you. >> i middle east everybody is. >> i called up our washington bureau chief who is smart. right after the elections when everybody starte
mcconnell his getting actively involved in talks. republican senator john stone noted the meeting among the president and congressional leaders is encouraging because people are talking. we want to check in. in the two hours since we last talked, any news you could clean? guest: no disrespect, but no. they are realistic these things often get resolve the blessed minute. it would not shock me if we are still talking like this 48 hours from now. the deadline it is 11:50 9:00 p.m. on the first. it looks bleak, but there are only five or six people that really know what is going on, and they are not talking to us. the effected they're talking to each other is encouraging. -- the fact that they are talking to each other is encouraging. host: let's walk through the scenarios. there is a meeting this afternoon, which is significant. a lot of negotiations have been between the president and speaker john boehner. >> november 16 was the last time and the only time they met. it's going to happen? we expected bombshell announcement? no. the thing to watch is are they going to keep talking? will the
, harry reid and mitch mcconnell. can they make a deal or can they do their jobs or is this just more political drama? >> we want an agreement. >> the count down is midnight. the start of a new year. >> we are going over the cliff because frankly i believe it's what the president wants. >> the american people are waiting for the ball to drop, but it's not going to be a good drop. >> but we have no takers. >> every republican, every democrat ought to be here. >> the phone never raining. >> they should negotiate a plan. they shouldn't have the mine are in plan, they should have the biglan. >> here we are five days from the new year, and we might finally start talking. >> the republicans are sitting there with a nuclear weapon. they have the debt ceiling coming up. they can use that as part of this negotiation. >> what is going on here? >> the president called me and probably called others last night. my impression is he would like to see if we can move forward. >> you can't legislate with yourself. >> the breaking news of the moment is that the house republican leadership is calling its
for democratic leader harry reid and republican leader mitch mcconnell are trading proposals. even if they agree, they still need the support of the caucuses. that's no sure thing. then the plan needs to pass the house too. and speaker john boehner has shown he can't control how his caucus votes. if the senate fails to act, president obama wants it to consider a much smaller plan, one that at least would stop middle class tax hikes, at least. but republicans could block a vote on that. did you get all that? >>> by now, you're probably asking how did we get in this mess? cnn's ali velshi breaks it down for us. >> now we have passed a bold package of tax relief for america's families and businesses. >> reporter: it starts more than a decade ago, when then president george w. bush initiated a series of tax cuts for all americans. but it's a deal with a devil. the cuts, which are politically expedient but costly to government, expire in ten years' time. >> both houses of congress have now passed a package of tax relief that will protect the middle class. >> reporter: when it came time for the cuts t
>> nancy pelosi, which mcconnell, and john boe hner have four days to reach agreement or spending cuts would take effect. >> both sides are involved in a high-stakes political blame game. >> we are here in washington working. the members of house of represented or out watching movies, and watching the kids play soccer, basketball, and doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> i told president i will be happy to look at what ever he proposes. a hard deadline. as i said this is the conversation we should of had to go. >> democrats want to extend the bush era tax cuts to everyone except those americans making $250,000 or more per year. republicans remain against any tax increases. >> most americans just wasn't begun. >> people are tired. >> islamic not reach a deal by january 1st many economists are concerned it could lead to another recession. >> ibm ed paine reporting. >> and other nationals former president george h. w. bush is still in intensive care at houston hospital this morning dealing with the stubborn fever. >> the former president's family is confident that he will be
and minority leader mitch mcconnell. that is happening this afternoon. jessica yellin is there. jess, what do we know about the president's plan to get everybody in the same room? do we think there's going to be something that comes out of this? >> reporter: well, this is one of those cases where we really are going to have to wait and see, and all the parties involved are also going in with a big question mark. the idea is the expectation by many of the participants in the meeting is that they hope that they will be able to discuss more details about a scaled-down fiscal cliff plan. and maybe that could lead to some sort of agreement ideally for all parties in which all the senators say that they will not filibuster it, and it can go to a vote. and then speaker boehner could, in theory, agree to bring it to a vote on the house floor after the house comes back on sunday. and then we would get all of this behind us before new year's eve. how likely does that sound? not so likely. >> you and i are both kind of laughing about that one. so the stumbling block, of course, over raising taxes on the
and mitch mcconnell have been radio silent on negotiations. joining me is will kain and roland martin, a political analyst and columnist. welcome to you both. >> good to see you. >> good to see you. i'm just so sad we have to talk about the fiscal cliff. let's start with you, roland. harry reid comes out and says the house isn't in session. the president is back. the house is going nowhere. john boehner is doing a terrible job and we'll likely go off the cliff because of the republicans. >> it's interesting. this morning i talked to congressman e moon yule cleaver and part of the issue deals with the house rules. they have to have 48-hours notice to come back to washington, d.c. republicans also have a rule -- >> like there are phones. >> but again, the problem is the house rule that they must wait 72 hours to act on legislation. they can always suspend that rule, frankly change it for this particular purpose. that's part of the problem. they waited so long. this is also one of the reasons why congress should have kept their butt in washington, d.c. to get this problem solved because
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